Academic Information

Exploring Central Europe Courses

All courses are subject to change and may not be available every semester.

Required Courses:

Negotiating Identities Across Europe’s Borders

HST/PSC 433/CRS 303 (3 credits; required)

  • Traveling through Europe, one is constantly confronted with memories of conflict and reconciliation in places that have experienced dramatic upheavals. The urban and rural spaces of Poland, the Czech Republic,  and Germany will give us unique insight into contemporary Europe (travel destinations subject to change).
  • Syllabus available upon request. Pass/Fail grading is not an option for this course.

East Central Europe in the 20th Century

PSC/HST 481 (3 credits; required)

  • It is impossible to understand contemporary Europe without analyzing the joint influence of Nazism and Stalinism on the continent. The two totalitarian systems left a particularly complicated and traumatic legacy in East Central Europe. The effects of totalitarianism in this area were mediated not only by the local political regimes, but also by the region’s socio-cultural makeup—its diverse populations, languages, cultures, ethnic tensions, and competing historical memories. Our studies here will focus on exemplary sites of shifting borders, ethnic cleansings, forced migrations and related traumas that marked the lives of populations in this part of the world. In the course, we will also explore the complex history of opposition movements in Central Europe after WWII. Syllabus available upon request.

Optional Courses (choose at least one):

Art, Social Action and the City

ANT/PSC 300.1 (3 credits; optional)

  • With Wroclaw, Poland as our laboratory, we investigate the generative powers of cities to be transformed into sites of democratic struggle and engagement. Though exploration of the social and political dimensions of art, activism, and public spaces,  we will address pressing questions regarding the future of the public sphere and democracy, and how cities can become counterpoints to anti-democratic political tendencies and restrictive understandings of national belonging. Syllabus available upon request.

Exploring Culture and Society in Transition: Gender, Sexuality, Ethnicity, and Disability in Poland

ANT/QSX/WGS 300.2 (3 credits; optional)

  • This course will expose international students to contemporary Polish film, while allowing them to explore the issues of power, agency, and intersectionality in the lives of women, queer people, ethnic minorities, the poor, the elderly, and the disabled, both during the communist era and today. Syllabus available upon request.

Discord and Unity: Engaging the Contemporary World Through Ethics and Philosophy

PHI/PSC 300.3 (3 credits; optional)

  • The course discusses important moral, social, and political dilemmas of today including the condition and future of democracy, rising challenges of bioethics, problems of social justice, the changing position of the state and citizenship in the globalizing world, the role of language as a means to understanding social reality, or the challenges of multiculturalism to classical models of rationality, with the goal of helping students to productively discuss these dilemmas through the application of philosophical and ethical concepts. Syllabus available upon request.

    Polish Language Instruction at the University of Lower Silesia

    Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in one of the following language courses:

    Polish 101

    POL 101 (4 credits; optional)

    • This course is intended for students with no previous knowledge of Polish. By the end of this course, you will be introduced to enough grammar and vocabulary to carry on basic conversation in authentic situations and read/understand simple texts with the use of a dictionary. To master these language skills, the lessons will vary between those based on conversation and those based on the grammatical analysis of reading passages (and grammar explanations). Each unit will contain exercises reinforcing all four skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) and important vocabulary of past lessons. Syllabus available upon request.

    Survival Polish

    POL 180 (1 credit; optional)

    • The purpose of this course is to help students to study and live in Poland by developing your use of the Polish language in everyday situations and to overcome the initial difficulties in communicating. During the course, you will have the opportunity to learn and practice basics of grammar, spelling, and pronunciation, to learn a set of basic vocabulary and expressions used in everyday life, as well as to get a sense of cultural specificity of the Polish culture and language. Syllabus available upon request.

    Other Courses

    If you need to fulfill a degree requirement that cannot be met by the courses above, courses in the following disciplines may be available at three local universities by special request:

    Courses in chemistry, biology, and other STEM disciplines may be available at the University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Wroclaw.

    Courses in economics, finance, business, and other social science disciplines may be available at the University of Economics and the University of Wroclaw.

    Any special course request must be made by the deadline published on the Planning Your Schedule website. Please note that enrollment in classes outside of Syracuse Abroad Exploring Central Europe program offerings is not guaranteed.